Sport Psychologist Vanessa Wergin
“You just have to give it a go”
At the age of 7, Vanessa Wergin started with artistic roller skating and was very successful. High hopes were placed on her and her team at a European Championship, but unfortunately the team finished at the bottom ranks of the competition. The question, how this could have happened is still on Vanessa Wergin’s mind. Shortly after this defeat she decided to study Psychology. She wanted to find out why her entire team had collectively failed.
BREAKING NEW GROUND
In 2014 Vanessa Wergin completed her Master’s degree in Psychology at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. Since she wanted to further expand the knowledge she had gained by conducting her own research on collective collapse in sports teams, she decided to move to Munich. “In the field of Sports Psychology, TUM has a very good national and international standing and is covering a wide range of topics”, she explains her decision. “Furthermore, the Chair of Sport Psychology has a lot of expertise in the field of performance collapse under pressure.”
SETTING THE MILESTONE
Her study is the first to provide a process model that describes various triggers of collective performance collapse in entire sports teams and sheds light on how these triggers are connected and interlinked. Some factors of the process model have already been quantitatively investigated and provide sports teams with a set of actions that can be used to defuse situations of pressure.
“In my time as an athlete, I myself would have benefitted greatly from the knowledge I have today”, Vanessa Wergin says. “Now I would like to help athletes with my research.” The first milestone for the scientific career she is aiming for has been set and the sports psychologist tackles this goal with her characteristic mix of realism and confidence. “Once again in my life I will just try and see how far I get.”
At the Women of TUM Talk, which we will stream live on YouTube on October 7, 2020, Vanessa Wergin will talk about her experiences as a competitive athlete and top researcher. In terms of motivation and assertiveness, her listeners can learn a lot from the young TUM Alumna.
Dr. Vanessa Wergin
Doctorate Sport Psychologie 2019
In 2014 Vanessa Wergin completed her Master’s degree in Psychology at Goethe University Frankfurt. An Erasmus grant allowed her to spend a semester abroad at the Universiteit van Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
She spent another semester abroad at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, USA, on a Fulbright scholarship and a scholarship from the State of Hessen. In 2019, she earned her doctorate with distinction from TUM in Sport Psychology and has since been doing post-doc research at the Department of Sport and Health Sciences.
Being a former professional athlete, Vanessa Wergin remains physically active. Her favourite pastime, artistic roller skating, but also beach volleyball and volleyball are part of her programme. Furthermore she applies herself to voluntary work, e.g. as a mentor in the Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft.